American Bar Association
Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems

Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems

Recent Cases and Hot News

Committee Program Call

Clean Power Plan Oral Argument Review
Recorded on October 3, 2016
Available through November 2, 2016

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Final Methane Regulations for the Oil and Gas Sector-The Litigation Has Begun - How Will Companies and States Implement the Rules and What's the Litigation Outlook?
Non-CLE Webinar
October 12, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET

The Obama administration finalized the first ever methane regulations for the oil and gas sector in May of 2016. The regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primarily target emissions from new and modified oil and gas wells. Lawsuits have been filed challenging the regulations. The regulations have become even more important with the stay of the Clean Power Plan and the administration's desire to seek out additional greenhouse gas emission reductions to contribute to the U.S. commitment under the Paris Agreement. Attend this webinar to learn the latest on the regulations, their implementation, and the litigation.

Recent Cases and Hot News

If you have a Hot News item that you would like posted, please sent it to Elizabeth Stevens or Jameson Tweedie.

Updated: 08/01/16


Recent Releases

Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Second Edition

Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, Editors

This comprehensive examination of U.S. law as it relates to climate change completely updates and reconsiders material from the prior edition while adding extensive new material. Recognizing that climate change is largely an energy problem, a new section addresses energy regulation.

Order now. Log in to see special Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources member price of $89.95.

Click here to learn more.

Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair

The co-chairs and vice-chairs of the Committee encourage you to become actively involved in our programs and discussions and welcome you to enjoy the benefits of Committee membership. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the activities of the Committee, would like to become more involved with the projects we plan to undertake this year, or if you are interested in initiating a project not listed here.

Climate Change: Climate change continues to be a source of rapid developments in environmental law. Over the course of 2013 and 2014, EPA will propose new source performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing sources. These rulemakings will have significant impacts on the electric power generation sector and raise a number of important legal questions. There are also a range of other executive branch activities on greenhouse gases and climate change. Litigation related to these issues continues, including a recent grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court and pending cases in the D.C. Circuit and other courts of appeals.

Sustainable Development: The ABA House of Delegates recently adopted a resolution on sustainability, and a presidential-level ABA task force has been established to carry out the implementation of the resolution. The Committee will be working with the Task Force, and we will be looking for ways for our committee to support their activities. The Committee also continues to work to identify ways that lawyers can better advise clients on sustainability issues. For more information on these programs or if you have suggestions for other programs, contact our Sustainable Development Vice Chairs, Georgy Wyeth or John C. Dernbach.

Social Media: The ABA’s Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources has a limited number of dedicated pages for subgroups on LinkedIn, and CCSDE was selected as one of those pages. We encourage all members of the Committee to join the group on LinkedIn and to join our conversations. We post useful information and updates and have had some great exchanges of views on the page. It’s a great way to stay in touch with your colleagues and contacts in this subject area as well. If you have questions, please contact our social media vice-chair, Ruth Ivory-Moore.

Electronic Communications: The Committee will continue to regularly update this webpage with developments of interest, as well as continue sending updates to our members via the committee list serve and periodic e-mails on climate change, sustainable development and ecosystems news items. We hope this will keep our members abreast of recent developments in the field. If you have an update you would like to share with Committee members, or if you have any comments on the e-mail updates, please e-mail electronic communications vice-chairs, Elizabeth Stevens and Jameson Tweedie.

Programs and Public Service: The Committee will continue to develop excellent programming, including proposals for the Section Fall Meeting and Annual Conference on Environmental Law, regional programming, and responsive Quick Teleconferences and webinars. If you have an idea you would like to discuss, please contact our Programs Vice Chairs, Bernard Hawkins, Marisa Martin, Andrew D. Otis, and Gary Steinbauer.

Committee Newsletter: The Committee plans to publish four quarterly newsletters during the coming year. If you are interested in submitting an article or have an idea you would like to discuss, please contact our Newsletter Vice Chairs, Victor Baltera, Bill Smalling and Eric Waeckerlin.

The Year In Review: Each year, the Committee contributes a section on climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems to the ABA SEER The Year in Review. This publication provides an excellent summary of the most significant events in the field. If you are interested in working on The Year in Review for our Committee, please contact our The Year in Review Vice Chairs, Kevin Davis, Shannon Dilley, and Misty Sims.

Committee Information

50 State Survey –A Complimentary Supplement to Chapter 11: The State Response to Climate Change, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE AND U.S. LAW, 2ND (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, eds)

This comprehensive 602 page survey has been prepared by Kelly Nishikawa, Benjamin Lowenthal and other students at Pace Law School’s Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, under the oversight of the Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs, Laura Jensen. This very valuable reference document accompanies Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Second Edition (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, eds, 2014), available online at the ABA webstore. It compiles state legislation, rules and executive orders that specifically address climate change as of the end of April 2014. It also includes a wide variety of state activities that may have an impact on greenhouse gases including legislation related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The focus of this material is to provide readers with an understanding of the range of state activity that may contribute to greenhouse gas reduction and climate change. Some types of energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation (such as tax credits for hybrid vehicles) are very similar from state to state; some laws have a short duration and therefore may not be codified (such as temporary tax credits); energy legislation is being enacted at an increasing pace. As a result, not all energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation and other activity in every state are included in this compilation.

View the survey >>
Purchase the book >>


Welcome to the homepage of the Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee (CCSDE). Our committee is a cross-practice committee within the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. Our goal is to make the Committee a premier source of information and a forum for discussion on the law and policies related to climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems. The coming year will be a very exciting one in these fields and our Committee will continue to be on the forefront of new developments.


Social Media

Add to the discussion though our commitee LinkedIn group! Join the group!

Committee Communications/ List Serve

The primary way that the Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems committee disseminates information is through our List Serve, which is distributed to all Committee members. Please feel free to contact the Committee members with any questions or to share information regarding recent developments in the field of climate change, sustainable development, and ecosystems by using the list serve. The list serve address for the committee is (You must be a member to use this list serve.)

Join Us

Committee Chair


Fisher, Emily
Smithson, Stephen

Committee Roster  

2016-2017 Climate Change Committee Leadership

View the full roster of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee leadership.

Committee Events

Section Events

    An Update on Arranger Liability Under CERCLA: Recent Cases and the Impact of Pakootas


    An Update on Arranger Liability Under CERCLA: Recent Cases and the Impact of Pakootas

    ABA SEER Winter Council Meeting 2017


    The 2017 Winter Council Meeting will be held at the Longboat Key Club, 220 Sand Points Road, Longboat Key, Florida on January 13- 14, 2017. The Council Meeting will be held over two days. Council Meetings are generally attended by SEERs executive committee and council members and their spouse/guests. ...

    35th Water Conference


    The 35th Water Law Conference will take place at the Loews Hotel Hollywood, 1755 North Highland Avenue, Hollywood, California 90028. A block of rooms has been reserved at the discounted rate of $219 plus tax for single/double rooms. A limited number of government rate rooms are also available for $157 ...

Links of Interest

Other Links of Interest

View Committee Newsletters

An archive of the committee's past newsletters is available.

Modified by Peter Clark on October 8, 2016

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